Sunday, 8 August 2010

When you wander off the simple, green, frugal path...

by Eilleen, Consumption Rebellion

Hello everyone,

Readers of my personal blog would know that I have been having a hard time lately. I am now at the tail end of wrapping up my divorce and things have finally sunk in that I really am now a single parent. While the simple and frugal path has helped me at the beginning of this big life change - (indeed, I was astounded at how easily I was able to adjust to an income a third of what I was used to) now that the big upheavals are behind me and the dust is settling, I found myself craving "easy" and "normality".

And so over the last few months, I found myself opting for more and more takeaway and convenience meals. Buying things that "everyone else" has....I even bought a TV, even though I didn't really watch it! Buying presents (just like everyone else does) and buying DVDs so that my kids can watch something (on the brand new TV) while I sit and absorb the enormity of the changes in my life.

Unfortunately...and like my life previously.... I found that "buying normality" doesn't work. And there is nothing "easy" about over-consuming. In fact, the further I wandered off my values the more unsettled I became.

The problem with an over-consumerist lifestyle - once you have embarked on it - is that its pretty hard to stop. So many concepts are heavily marketed and attached to a consumerist lifestyle. Concepts like "normality" and "easy" - in short "the life you want to have". And even though I know that these are all illusions, they are very very tempting illusions anyway.

So where am I going with this?

This blog was created to inspire and help people live a simpler, greener and more frugal life. So many people have told me in my personal blog that sometimes reading blogs like these can be intimidating because people seem to do it so easily (oh there's that word again).

But as you can see, my own journey to a simpler life has not been easy. I was able to achieve it for a few years and for a long time, I experienced the quiet joy of finally living within my own values. Then slowly, slowly, I just....stopped.

I do have a more selfish motive for writing about my journey. I have found that blogging helps me take those little steps back towards a simpler path....and it helps me remain accountable. :)

So what little steps am I taking? Well, I have started with a budget challenge (that also involved a bit of decluttering) and I have also started sewing again. I am really grateful for Frugal Trench's post below this one because its reminding me of even more little steps to take.

For now I am here very very far from a simple, green or frugal life. Just like that time years and years ago, when I stopped buying brand new for the first time, I have a long way to trek to get back onto the simple path. But I know that with my little steps, I will get there.

"Looking for Reality" by Alice / Cornelia Kopp